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A PIPKIN OF PEPPER by Helen Cooper

A PIPKIN OF PEPPER

By Helen Cooper (Author) , Helen Cooper (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-35953-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Cat, Squirrel and Duck, who live in a tea kettle–shaped house, are back to making their pumpkin soup when they discover they are out of salt—the only solution is to go into the city to buy more. Duck has never been there and begs to come along. Cat and Squirrel urge him to be careful and hold on tight and off they go. Duck, however, begins to think pepper would be a fine addition to their soup, and becomes completely distracted by the big city and his quest. He finds the pepper, but loses his friends and there’s a great flurry of searching and calling Police Dogs and Fire Dogs. Nevertheless, all is well in the end. Cooper’s glowing pictures are both gorgeous and delightful: The city is as detailed and richly colored as a mosaic, and the countryside where the trio live is full of leafy and golden tendrils and curlicues. Duck’s packet of pepper turns out to be quite a lot (rather larger than a pipkin, in fact), but the friends pronounce the result “Delicious!” The type font is used quite inventively, with size, boldness and placement adding to the merriment. Two small bugs provide occasional snarky commentary. Cooper’s Pumpkin Soup (1999) won the Kate Greenaway medal; this one’s at least as charming. (Picture book. 4-7)